We got to know several families through the bereaved family group we attended for about 18 months at Hopkins. What a benefit those meetings were, and what a blessing to get to know those other families. We stopped attending last fall, as life was getting very busy again, and we no longer felt the need to attend as pressing as it had been before. We have peripherally kept in touch with a few of the families.
We were shocked to receive notice that the father of one of the families had died. They had lost a daughter to cancer, and had told the other parents during sessions that Rick also was in treatment. He never discussed particulars, and seemed to not want to. But last we had heard he was doing well.
I am heartbroken for them.
There is always shock when a young parent dies. I would guess Rick was mid-40s, with three children and a wife who still need and love him. The seeming injustice of Rick's death is overwhelming. And terrifying. Of course, I know that Henry's death does not grant my family immunity from tragedy. But it sure as hell seems like it should. And Rick's death now, even after the death of his beloved daughter, doesn't shield his grieving family either.
In my ego- and species-centric mind it really, really should.